For a look behind the scenes of The Biggest Loser
, watch Phil and Amy on "In The Green Room
Season 6, NBC’s The Biggest Loser Contestants
College: Phil, BS, Business, Rhema Bible College, OK; Amy, BA, Journalism, Rhema Bible College
Married 22 years with three children
Phil and Amy Parham: The 90-Day Fitness Challenge
PILING ON THE POUNDS
Phil and Amy Parham met at Anderson College in South Carolina. They went their separate ways when Phil went into the Air Force and Amy applied for Rhema Bible College in Oklahoma. One day Amy called Phil's mom and found out he was going to the same college. They dated and got married in 1988 before starting college.
Phil started investing in real estate and eventually started a mortgage business in 2003. In 2004, his business partner pulled out and their business began failing. That same year, their youngest son, Rhett, was diagnosed with autism.
“I felt like everything I worked for was taken away,” says Phil, who was under tremendous pressure with the debt from his business. He ate poorly as he spent long hours at the office. Amy would binge eat at night to fight off depression. “I was literally raised in the back of a Dairy Queen,” says Amy, whose mom owned a franchise while she was growing up. “So I ate ice cream every night.”
They turned their situation over to God and slowly their lives turned around. They found new careers in real estate, becoming the top sales agents, selling over 60 homes their first year. They also found new therapy for Rhett that helped him improve his language and behavior. Though they were inspired, Amy and Phil were still too busy to give much thought to their health.
GETTING THE WEIGHT OFF
Phil and Amy continued to put on weight. Phil at his heaviest was 340 pounds, and Amy was 229 pounds. They prayed for God to turn their lives around. One day in church, Amy felt like the Lord told her she needed to give up trying to fix Rhett's autism. If God loved her with all of her imperfections, then she should love her son with his imperfections. Instantly the burden lifted off her shoulders as she realized that God would take care of her son. “This was the first step of my journey to get my life back on track,” says Amy.
Then one day Amy, who was a fan of NBC's The Biggest Loser, was on the sofa, eating ice cream and crying. She decided to go online to the show’s website and see what the process was for getting on the show. So she applied to be contestants for season 6. A few months later, on Valentine’s Day weekend, they were in Atlanta, Georgia, for auditions. They didn’t hear anything for two and a half months. Before they knew it, Phil and Amy were off to Los Angeles as finalists though they weren’t promised a slot on the show. The next week, Bob Harper, one of the show’s fitness trainers, surprised them at home to announce that they were accepted out of 300,000 contestants. They didn't realize their lives were about to change.
They endured hard training for the show, eight hours a day for seven months. “It was the hottest summer in LA history,” says Amy.
For a look behind the scenes of The Biggest Loser, watch Phil and Amy on "In The Green Room".
Together they lost 256 pounds, which was more as a couple than any other couple in the history of the program. Though they didn’t win, Amy was a top 3 finalist; Phil was eliminated earlier.
Today they maintain the healthy weight, because they incorporated permanent lifestyle changes that they learned on The Biggest Loser. Phil weighs 180 pounds and Amy weighs 124. They work out 1 hour a day 5 days a week combining weights and cardio. Their answer to people who are where they were several years ago: just start moving, even if it's just a little. “You don't think it even makes an impact,” says Amy. “If you start somewhere, you will see results.”
After they got home from the “ranch,” Phil and Amy got a lot of questions about how they lost their weight. So they came up with the “90-Day Fitness Challenge” based on how they did it themselves.
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